Nov 7, 2010

At the Boston Arnold Arboretum

The day before yesterday my wife and I went to the Boston Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain for a leisure walk in the park. I decided to bring my camera along, thinking I might be able to snap a shot or two to satisfy my need for nature and macro photography. We parked at the Forest Hill Gate and strolled along Forest Hill road passing Dawson and Rehder Pond. We then continued up Bussey Hill and made our way over to the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection. It was nice to discover the Bonsai trees, especially the Japanese maple tree which was still in peak foliage color. On our way back I noticed a couple of oak tree leaves lying quietly and flat on top of a stone wall. After a few days of rain in the Boston area the leaves were still covered with raindrops. I used the midrib and blade of the leaf to frame the main subject and lead the viewer through the photograph. The focal point was laid on the first large water drop. I then adjusted the camera aperture to obtain the depth of field I envisioned and kept other droplets out of focus. I settled at f/6.3 resulting in 1/15 second exposure time. Underexposure by 1/3 of a stop in combination with a polarizing filter benefited color saturation and minimized glare. I used the stone wall itself as a tripod re-placer that helped to keep camera shaking to a minimum. In the post processing steps I minimally adjusted lighting, contrast and color before I sharpened the final image.